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One of Little Rock's most mysterious buildings, and one that may have ties to Dan Brown's next book The Solomon Key, has been defaced by vandals. The Albert Pike Temple (video included with story) was spraypainted with various 'satanic' symbols. As noted in my book (see my essay on "Dan Brown and the Ku Klux Klan" for a short summary), Scottish Rite Masonry founder Albert Pike could well play a part in DB's next novel.
The appeal in the London copyright court case has begun, with the lawyer for Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh presenting their case that the original decision in the case was flawed.
The appellants' case was that the theme appropriated by the Browns and used in DVC (The Da Vinci Code) was a substantial part of the appellants' copyright work and was, thus, an infringement. The judge, however, considered the case to be about whether the central theme (of HBHG) was itself a protectable copyright work. This error led the judge into a series of judgments that were wrong in law and the judge then misapplied the law to his extensive findings of fact. When the law is properly interpreted and is applied to the judge's findings of fact, the only proper conclusion is that the defendant has infringed the appellants' copyright.
Lawyers for both sides will present their cases over a four-day period, with a decision expected soon after.
Dan Brown court opponents Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh have been profiled in The Independent (note, will probably be archived and disappear within a few days). A strange piece - while Richard Leigh sounds utterly unenthused about the writing of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent says of the upcoming court appeal (Jan 17th, 2007):
It's been terrible. The case is going to appeal in January, and while I'd like to say I'm optimistic of the outcome, it's the law. Can you ever be optimistic of winning against the law?
A strangish statement to make about his chances to say the least...
DeadlineHollywood reports that Akiva Goldsman, who adapted Dan Brown's worldwide bestseller The Da Vinci Code, is receiving $4 million from Imagine Entertainment and Sony Pictures for the adaptation of the sequel to DVC. Reports are confusing as to whether this is actually the sequel, or a rewritten Angels and Demons (changing it to post-DVC) - in any case, Sony is anticipating a 2008 release of the film.
The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from author Lewis Perdue, who has claimed that Dan Brown plagiarised parts of his book Daughter of God in writing The Da Vinci Code, and who was seeking $150 million in damages. Perdue has commented on the decision on his blog, where he also published his petition to the Supreme Court (PDF).
I recently spent a half hour on the phone talking to Foxnews.com about Brown's next book (being considered an 'expert' and all!), although in the resulting story on their website all of my explaining was reduced to one rather bland sentence. In any case, if you want to learn more about The Solomon Key (or whatever it's title will be), then there are plenty of essays here on The Cryptex which will fill you in. Try these:
Your best bet though is just to purchase a copy of the book (Amazon US), which has all of the above plus much more.
DVD Times have an in-depth review of the DVD release of an extended version of The Da Vinci Code movie. The new release apparently has 25 minutes added to it, and a second disc which features interviews with the cast and crew, and also Dan Brown.
Stephen Brown, Marketing Professor at the University of Ulster, gives his thoughts on the secret of Dan Brown's success. They are: razzle-dazzle, persistence, secrecy, shock, and a little bit of luck. Guess I'll go write a best-seller now...
Andy Gough of the "Arcadia" website has completed an interview with the mayor of Rennes-le-Chateau. There is currently a controversy brewing over alleged mismanagement of the village of RlC and the domain of Berenger Sauniere (whom Dan Brown named his character Jacques Sauniere after), with some people even claiming that the mayor and officials are privately desecrating the Abbe's grave. Andy decided to skip the rumour mill, and walked straight in to interview the mayor about these allegations. Required reading for anybody interested in the RlC mystery.
Astraea Magazine has an an exclusive interview with Michael Baigent about his new book The Jesus Papers, and of course the Dan Brown court case saga in which he was involved. Most of the interview is about his book (which is interesting enough), with just the last 7 minutes or so devoted to the copyright claim, and how he thinks the granting of leave to appeal the original decision means he has a very good chance of winning the appeal. The interview is available as either Windows Media or mp3.